Whitesnake. Come an’ Get It (Liberty, 1981)

One would think that today I might be embarrassed for listing this release as one of my absolute favorites, but, as you know, I don’t make excuses for whatever rocks my boat.

When this was released, close to the end of my seemingly endless streak as a heavy metal / hard rock fan and concert goer, I fell for it straight away, despite its somewhat misogynist and mostly daft lyrics, a problem that David Coverdale carried around for ages.

This LP (today: CD) just rocked. When I re-entered the vinyl world some years ago, this really was the first LP I threw on right away, simply because just about every CD/digital/whatnot reissue sucked in major ways. None of those ever sounded like what I had first heard when I bought the LP on release day.

When it hit the market, critics called it “average”, “mediocre”, … and just about every other more or less nasty adjective in-between. The critics weren’t that far off, lyrically, but musically they simply missed the mark.

Before David Coverdale blow-dried himself to death in the late 80s, he was a member of a seriously tight band that included the ridiculously stellar line-up of Micky Moody & Bernie Marsden on guitars/backing vocals, Jon Lord on keyboards, Neil Murray on bass and the fabulously in-the-pocket Ian Paice on drums. You couldn’t – and can’t – really get better than that. These guys not only had some great albums on their roster as Whitesnake, they had also racked up some serious karma from all their other live, studio and band projects. When I saw them live before “Come an’ Get It” hit the market, it was one of the tightest bands I had ever seen. They seemed to be absolutely comfortable in each other’s company and, most of all, they liked to bounce stuff off each other live that never made their studio albums. In short, they rocked.

So, when the critics ravaged this album shortly upon release, I begged to differ. I was never one to pay too much attention to lyrics within this genre of music, a genre that really did not rely on literary excellence, but I did pay much closer attention to musical craftsmanship and excellence. “Come an’ Get It” delivered in spades. It had a well-rounded sound (produced by Martin Birch), the guitar and organ-heavy sound I had grown accustomed to, plus a whole load of excellent hooks that have stayed with me until this very moment.

Wine, Women and Song“, “Girl“, “Don’t Break My Heart Again“, “Child of Babylon“, “Hit and Run“, and “Hot Stuff” rocked my world and the first two tracks listed here have been played so often at my place that even the rats hide when I put them on once again.

I have never understood how people who gave “Givin’ the Dog a Bone” (AC/DC) a thumbs up could dump on “Girl“, both of which are favorite tunes of mine, not because of their pimple-faced lyrics but because they had those riffs that got my blood boiling … and still do.

Call me simple-minded, but when Whitesnake and – especially Ian Paice – started on that really tight groove on “Girl“,  I just couldn’t sit still. I still can’t today. Yes, “I know the game you’re playing – When you’re turning all your tricks – It’s written on your face – You just want your business fixed” isn’t what we would call politically correct nowadays, but, hell, the music wasn’t supposed to get you a Nobel Prize in Literature. It was supposed to help you live up your weekend.

Several hundred weekends later, I bought into the Japanese (Sunburst/Universal Japan, UIGY 9056) SACD and what I heard actually sounded close enough to what I experienced when I first put on the LP on release day in 1981. It isn’t perfect, but it is much better than all the other remasters that buried the balanced and rather polished sound the release had had ages ago.

So, before the next Nobel Prize in Literature goes to Metallica, here’s another contender:

***

“Wine, Women An’ Song”

I ain’t an educated man
As all you Fleet Street preachers know,
It’s just the simple things in life
Get my motor running, ready to go
If I can make you smile
I will raise my glass,
An’ if you don’t like it
Then, baby, you can kiss my ass!

You can tell me it’s wrong,
But, I love wine, women an’ songGive me a good time woman,
An’ a love potion bottle of booze
‘Cos I got a juke box heart
Full of honky tonk rhythm an’ blues
You better lock up your daughter, your sister too,
If get in my way, I’m gonna rock an’ roll over you,
Ain’t nothing you can doYou can tell it’s wrong,
But I love wine, women an’ song
Wine, women an’ song, talking ’bout
Wine, women an’ song,
Wine, women an’ song,
Wine, women an’ song
You get what you can
But, don’t take too long
Wine, women an’ song,Give me a rock an’ roll band
With a mean an’ dirty blues guitar,
Take me to a dance hall palace
With a twenty four hour bar
Then you better lock up your daughter, your sister too,
If you get in my way, I’m gonna rock an’ roll over you,
Ain’t nothing you can doYou can tell me it’s wrong,
But I love wine, women an’ song
Wine, women an’ song, talking ’bout
Wine, women an’ song,
Wine, women an’ song,
Wine, women an’ song
You get what you can
But, don’t take too long,
Wine, women an’ song

[…]

***

Rock on.

***

***

Whitesnake. Come an’ Get It. 1981

01. Come an’ Get It – 3:59
02. Hot Stuff – 3:22
03. Don’t Break My Heart Again – 4:03
04. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights – 4:16
05. Wine, Women an’ Song – 3:45
06. Child of Babylon – 4:48
07. Would I Lie to You – 4:29
08. Girl – 3:55
09. Hit an’ Run – 3:23
10. Till the Day I Die – 4:23

Later remastered editions added:

11. Child of Babylon (Alternate rough mix) – 4:28
12. Girl (Alternate version/rough mix) – 4:07
13. Come an’ Get It (Rough mix) – 3:59
14. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights – Coverdale 4:13
15. Till the Day I Die (Rough mix) – 4:44
16. Hit an’ Run (Backing track) – 3:18

Released: April 11, 1981
Recorded: July and September 1980, January 1981
Studio: Startling Studios, Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, England
Label: Mirage/Atlantic (North America), Polydor (Japan), Liberty (Rest of the world)
Producer: Martin Birch

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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